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SO 329 Sociology of the Life Course
Brewster, Franklin R.,, II


Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.

Course

SO 329 Sociology of the Life Course

Semester

S2T 2012 DL

Faculty

Brewster, Franklin R., II

Title

Senior Adjunct Faculty

Degrees/Certificates

M.A. counseling- Chapman University
B.S. Social Pyschology- Park College

Daytime Phone

(520) 241-2959

E-Mail

Franklin.Brewster@park.edu

Semester Dates

March 19, 2012- May 13, 2012

Class Days

TBA

Class Time

TBA

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:

Shanahan, M.J. and Macmillan, R. (2007). Biography and the sociological imagination, W.W. Norton &   
       Company (9780393976083) (BSI)

Allan, G. and Jones, J. (2003). Social relations and the life course, Palgrave (9780333984970) (SRLC)

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
SO 329 Sociology of the Life Course: Examines the social aspects of aging from birth to death and the differences in our experiences due to age, historical periods, and the cohort or generation to which we belong. Substantive topics include social psychological outcomes (such as self-esteem and stress), adolescence and identity formation, dating and family dynamics, occupational trajectories and retirement. Also examines the large scale effects of population ageing trends and the effects of maturation of social relationships. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

I believe in the "transformational" view of learning where the student interacts within his or her community as part of the learning process.  The student is an active participant, not a passive learner.  I believe in challenging students to consider new and different views.  The classroom is an excellent setting to challenge current paradigms by being introduced to new concepts.  I challenge students to critically evaluate the new information and to reach their own conclusions.
 

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe what is meant by the sociological imagination as it relates to understanding your own life course.
  2. Explain the differences between cohort analysis of the life course and individual analysis of the life course.
  3. Identify sociological methods for understanding lives and evaluate them in terms of application to different questions and issues.
  4. Integrate levels of analysis with life course themes and stages in an analytical project.
  5. Communicate sociological explanations for important personal and social events.
Class Assessment:

 

Points                     Assignment                                                                                                            

200                         Comprehensive Final Examination (20%)

200                         Core Assessment: Data Analysis Assignment (20%)

Interviews and Analyses: interview at least two appropriate individuals for each assignment, then analyze their issues and concerns with reference to specific concepts and findings discussed in this course.

100                         Gender-specific interview – one male and one female

100                         Children and parents interview – one child and one parent in the same family

100                         Mature adult interview – two adults, on the topic of your choice (same topic with both)

100                         Work interview – two adults who have experienced a work transition

200                         Participation and Discussion:

15 pts/week            personal reaction to the week’s reading, applied to your life

10 pts/week            discussion of others’ reactions (focused exclusively on their application of the material)
                                                                                                                               

Core Assessment:

Essay: (max. 3000 words, plus tables and figures) Identify one life stage OR life stage transition, and then select one issue or theme as your focus. For example, you may select the transition from work to retirement, focusing on the change in personal identity or as your focus. Your essay must include the following components:

1.     Define and analyze the major applicable characteristics of the stage, or stages. Are those stages currently well defined in our culture or in flux? How and why? Are there differences as a function of gender?  Cite specific research and examples to illustrate your characterizations.

2.     What are the challenges faced by individuals, groups, and society as people attempt to navigate this transition?

3.     How does this stage or transition today compare with the same stage or transition a generation ago? How do you think it might look in another generation, given societal changes?

4.     Does existing research suggest optimal strategies for dealing with this stage or transition? What are they? Do people actually follow those strategies, and if so, who does and under what conditions? Evaluate that research and suggest how it might be applied.

Your essay should clearly define your stage or transition, and the personal and social consequences of the specific stage or transition. Carefully edit and proofread your essay, and ensure that it conforms to the applicable guidelines of APA format, and include all citations and references. Each point should be carefully explained with sociological concepts, explicitly justified with reason and empirical scientific evidence, and illustrated through specific real-world examples. Your essay will be evaluated in terms of content and clarity of writing.

You may wish to organize your essay around personal experience; if you take this approach, be sure to present your experience as scientifically and with as much rigor as if you were reporting on any other data.
 
                                                                   

Grading:

Point Range            Letter Grade

>= 900                    A

800 – 899                B

700 – 799                C

600 – 699                D

<= 599                    F
 
Class Discussions  (Weeks 1 through 8)           
      Post an initial response to each Discussion Question posted by Tuesday                               up to 9 points
      Responses to at least two classmates in each discussion thread by Sunday midnight (CST)    up to 12 points
      Quality of weekly comments and responses                                                                          up to 4 points
 

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late assignments will be accepted by the course instructor. However, ALL work that is submitted and/or received past the established deadline will be assessed a penalty of 50% of the value of the assignment. This policy does not extend to weekly discussion topics. Students who do not participate in the weekly discussions in a timely manner are encouraged to participate in past discussions as possible, but no points will be awarded for said late participation. Students have until Sunday night at midnight (CST) to complete their discussion questions.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Students must be respectful to all points of view, especially to those which are different from their own.  Respect and courtesy must prevail in the classroom.  Please be aware of the words you use in your discussions.  It is sometimes difficult to understand intent and tone in the online classroom, because we lack the nonverbal queues.  It is important that we recognize the value in various points of views as we search for truth.   

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1: Sociological Imagination and the Life Course

Read BSI Chapters 1 and 2

Participation and discussion (25 points total)

Week 2. Understanding cohorts and understanding individual lives

Read BSI Chapters 3 and 4

Participation and discussion (25 points total)

Week 3. Children and parents

Read SRLC Chapters 4 and 5

Children and parents interview must be completed by Sunday at 10:00 PM (CST) (100 points)

Participation and discussion (25 points total)

Week 4. Family and home

Read SRLC Chapters 7 and 9

Participation and discussion (25 points total)

Week 5. Changes: Gender and migration

Read SRLC Chapters 2 and 10

Gender interview must be completed by Sunday at 10:00 PM (CST) (100 points)

Participation and discussion (25 points total)

Week 6. Changes: Work and relationships

SRLC Chapters 12 and 13

Work interview must be completed by Sunday at 10:00 PM (CST) (100 points)

Participation and discussion (25 points total)

Week 7. Putting it all together

BSI Chapter 5

Mature adult interview must be completed by Sunday at 10:00 PM (CST) (100 points)

Participation and discussion (25 points total)

Core Analysis Paper Due by Sunday at 10:00PM (CST) (200 points)

Week 8. Back to the beginning

BSI Chapter 6

Participation and discussion (25 points total)

Proctored Comprehensive Final Exam (200 points)

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Plagiarism:
Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Copyright:

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Last Updated:2/18/2012 4:40:24 PM